Florida Water Star
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Florida Water Star Technical Manual

Landscape criteria

General practices for a Florida Water Star landscape design

Turf grass

Unirrigated Bahia grass.

Drought-tolerant turf grass


Florida Water Star encourages the use of site-appropriate species as a practice. Several turf species, if correctly established, may be used on Florida Water Star projects and will receive points. In parts of Florida, it will be necessary to amend the soil prior to laying the sod. This will maximize the opportunity for successful establishment. Builders and landscapers should check with their local IFAS extension office to determine the best species of turf in un-irrigated areas. To learn more about appropriate ground cover species, use the Waterwise plant database.

Requirements and certification

Unirrigated drought-tolerant turf grass or ground cover is used.





Up to 25 points


Points are awarded based upon the percentage of the turf area that is planted with the drought-tolerant species.

Drought-Tolerant Turf Grass Point Formula

(drought-tolerant turf grass area ÷ total turf grass area) × available points

The builder or Inspector must request a written variance from the program administrator to receive credit for additional drought-tolerant turf species. This request must include documented, scientific research that validates the drought tolerance of the proposed turf grass species.

Program tip

The Florida Water Star Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and program staff may approve additional species. Points will be awarded after review of water-saving or water-efficiency documentation by the program staff, after receiving recommendations from the program TAC. In the absence of a recommendation by this committee or a demonstrated need for timeliness, the water management district may render a decision with the input of irrigation and landscape design experts.

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177